Common Auto Loan Financing Misconceptions

AutoLoans“Don’t believe everything you hear.” How many times have you heard this when you were a kid? Well, everyone grows up and it’s time to actually listen to that little old saying, especially when it comes to buying a vehicle. There are tons of common myths and misconceptions out there, but what is the truth behind these myths? Find out the true answers to some of the most common car buying myths right here:

Myth #1  Auto dealers will always have the best loan rate & payment.

This isn’t always necessarily true. Credit unions and other financial institutions also offer competitive rates compared to dealerships. Those who are looking into buying a car should shop around and not only compare rates, but also compare restrictions, to find the best deal that fits their wants and needs.

Myth #2 Seeking multiple pre-approvals/loan offers will destroy your credit rating.

An individual’s credit score will not be affected negatively if seeking multiple offers. The analysis will have to be made within a certain time period of 14 days. However, keep in mind while shopping around this may cause multiple creditors to request a consumer’s credit report.

Myth #3  Auto loan refinancing is expensive.

It’s actually the opposite. Refinancing can drastically reduce your monthly payments and is an option you should consider. Have you stopped into your local First Financial branch location to see how much we may be able to save you each month by refinancing your car loan? Or give us a call at 866.750.0100, Option 4.

Myth #4 Refinancing isn’t an option on an auto loan.

Most people know that refinancing an auto loan can provide the same benefits as refinancing a home loan. They both can save you a lot of money by lowering the monthly payment or interest rate. Many may not know that refinancing an auto loan is actually much easier than refinancing a home loan. You might want to consider refinancing if your current car loan interest rate is above 6 percent, doing so could save you hundreds of dollars each year if you are approved!

Myth #5 Consumers think that even though Credit Unions have better rates – that you have to have perfect credit to get them, or be part of a union or work at a certain company to get them.

You do have to be a member of a Credit Union to get the Credit Union’s rates, and the rate you qualify for is based on your credit worthiness. However, most people do not realize just how easy it is to join a Credit Union these days, and that Credit Unions will at least try to work with you and help you get on the right track to a better financial standing if you aren’t currently. The majority of Credit Unions how have community charters – where you simply need to live, work, worship, or attend school in a certain area in order to become a member of that particular Credit Union. That’s certainly the case at First Financial – to join $5 in a Base Savings Account is needed at all times, and you must live, work, worship, volunteer, or attend school in Monmouth or Ocean Counties in New Jersey. Plus, once you are a member – your immediate family can join too!

Here at First Financial, Enterprise Car Sales and First Financial are able to offer First Financial Members monthly deals on used vehicle purchases through Enterprise. Get started by getting preapproved by First Financial and search for certified used cars online with Enterprise Car Sales. 

As always, First Financial offers great low rates – and they’re the same whether you plan to purchase a new or used vehicle!  If you need a handy tool to help you figure out those monthly auto loan payments to see what you can afford before you buy, try our free loan calculator application called AutoCalcubot. We also provide a free auto buying and research tool, AutoSMART – a great place to find new and used vehicles!

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Things to Consider Before Signing Up for Zero% at the Dealership

zero%Zero percent financing is something you’ve probably heard before, however, before you sign on the dotted line, here are some things to consider…

What is really your best deal? Undoubtedly you’ve heard about “zero percent financing” offers that many auto dealers like to promote. Although they seem to be incredible deals, and are certainly tempting, you should read the fine print and know the facts before you head to your local dealer.

To help you decide if zero percent (or a low “teaser” rate) is the best deal for you, here are a few facts and restrictions you may encounter:

  • Almost perfect credit may be needed in order to qualify for these offers.
  • You may be required to give up a manufacturer’s rebate.
  • It could mean shorter terms and larger monthly payments.
  • It is usually offered on a limited number of models.
  • You may be limited to dealer stock and not be able to choose the exact vehicle you are interested in.

Research, research, research! By using our free available research tools such as AutoSMART & Autocalcubot loan calculator, you will be better equipped when you finally make that trip to the dealership. You may find that giving up that zero percent financing for a manufacturer’s rebate will save you more money.

And finally…Read any contract carefully before signing it. Ask questions about anything you do not understand and don’t feel pressured into making a decision right then and there.

Happy shopping!

Spring Driving Tips

SpringDriving

Spring Driving Tips

  • Inspect your tires, if needed buy new tires.
  • Get your oil checked.
  • Steer around the potholes.
  • Slow down and increase your following distance during spring showers. Watch for pedestrians who cannot see or hear as well in the rain.
  • Use low beam headlights in foggy conditions. High beams reflect from raindrops and fog, actually making it harder to see.
  • Avoid large puddles of water which are as dangerous as patches of ice. Your car can hydroplane on the surface. Splashing water also affects your brakes and makes it difficult for other drivers to see.
  • Keep your tires inflated to the correct pressure for safer handling, longer tire life and up to 3% better gas mileage.
  • Also, have a pro check your car air conditioner. It’s going to get hot quickly!

For more vehicle related advice, or to buy (or sell) a vehicle – be sure to check out AutoSMART, our free online car buying resource! And for a handy auto loan calculator, try Auto Calcubot

Click here to view the article source.

Winter Driving Checklists: Be Prepared and Arrive Safely

Did you know that the leading cause of deaths during winter storms are transportation accidents? Preparing your vehicle for the winter season and knowing how to react if stranded or lost on the road are the keys to safe winter driving.

Before a winter storm, make sure you have a mechanic check the following items on your car:

  • Battery
  • Antifreeze
  • Wipers and windshield washer fluid
  • Ignition system
  • Thermostat
  • Lights
  • Flashing hazard lights
  • Exhaust system
  • Heater Brakes
  • Defroster
  • Oil level

You also want to make sure you tires have adequate tread. All weather tires are usually adequate for most winter conditions. However, some state jurisdictions require that to drive on their roads, vehicles must be equipped with chains or snow tires with studs. You may also take note of a few of these helpful tips:

  • Keep a windshield scraper and small broom for ice and snow removal
  • Maintain at least a half tank of gas during the winter season
  • Listen to the radio or call the state highway patrol for the latest road conditions. Always travel during daylight and, if possible, take at least one other person
  • If you must go out during a winter storm, use public transportation
  • Always dress warmly but wear layers of loose fitting, layered, lightweight clothing
  • Store a supply of high energy “munchies” and several bottles of water

Another couple things you should keep in mind when traveling long distance in the winter months is to make sure you car is stocked with a few essential items that will help you in case a problem arises. Here are some suggestions:

  • Flashlights with extra batteries
  • First aid kit with pocket knife
  • Necessary medications
  • Several blankets
  • Sleeping bags
  • Extra newspapers for insulation
  • Plastic bags
  • Matches
  • Extra set of mittens, socks, and a wool cap
  • Rain gear and extra clothes
  • Small shovel
  • Small tools (pliers, wrench, screwdriver)
  • Booster cables
  • Set of tire chains or traction mats
  • Cards, games, and puzzles
  • Brightly colored cloth to use as a flag
  • Canned fruit and nuts
  • Non-electric can opener
  • Bottled water

 Stay safe and warm this winter!

Article Source: NJ State Police

Know the Facts: 0% Financing on Auto Loans

The Truth Behind 0%

When it comes to getting an auto loan, take the time to carefully look at all your options. What you initially think is a great offer, may end up costing you more money in the long run.

Take a look at the chart below to see some common myths…

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Research Your Options

As a credit union member you are already aware of the many benefits First Financial offers, including low interest auto loans and great service tailored to your needs. By researching your auto financing options before you visit a dealership, you may find that when using First Financial’s low percentage rate you are still allowed to use any rebates offered by the manufacturer. This could be your best deal! Refer to our auto loans page for information and details about the loan, preferred dealers, links to apply online and our most recent rates and promotions. If you have any additional questions about our auto loans or refinancing options, contact us at 866.750.0100, e-mail us at info@firstffcu.com, or stop into any one of our branches.

Don’t forget to use our FREE online car buying and research tool, AutoSMART! This tool allows you to look up new and pre-owned cars based on model, make, year, mileage, color and so much more. Buying and selling a car has never been easier, be sure to download the AutoSMART app for your Android or iPhone today!

*Click here to view the article source.

 

Winter Driving Tips That Could Keep You Safe

icesnow_logo2You might not live in the middle of snow country, but it still is important to keep in mind that winter driving conditions can present more of a challenge. Here are some things to keep in mind as you head out into the open road.

  • Speed Limits: Remember that these limits primarily refer to safe speeds during ideal weather conditions. Always slow down while driving on snow or ice. When driving uphill on ice, pick a path that will allow the most traction. Allow for greater stopping distances during snow and ice storms. In order to bring your car to a safe stop, you must allow 8-10 seconds between you and the vehicle in front of you.
  • Curves and Turns: To maintain better control of your vehicle, reduce speed just before the turn. Any sudden acceleration or deceleration during a turn will send you into a skid. Never brake while driving on ice. If you are approaching a patch of ice, brake during your approach. Applying pressure to your brakes while on ice will only throw you into a skid. Monitor vehicles in front of you and be sure to monitor the vehicles in front of you. Unpacked snow will give most vehicles sufficient uphill traction.
  • Keep Your Distance: The most important thing to remember when driving on slick roads is that you must travel, steer, and brake more slowly than usual. The distance needed to stop on ice is twice as long as what you would need to brake under normal driving circumstances. This means you should keep at least a three-car distance from the vehicle directly in front of you. Remember that tires which are in proper working condition and are adequately inflated provide better transaction.
  • Extra Slippery: Certain areas of roadways, because of location or track of direct sunlight, are almost always more hazardous than others. Use extra caution when driving on bridges, overpasses and tunnels. What is known as “black ice” commonly forms on roads that wind around lakes and rivers, in tunnels, on overpasses and in highly shaded, rural areas. Black ice is almost invisible to the naked eye. Be especially leery when driving your car into shaded areas, and slow your vehicle down during your approach.
  • Handling Skids: The biggest problem facing most winter drivers is skidding on slick, icy or snow covered roads. It is possible to steer out of a skid! First of all do not panic. Once you feel your car begin to skid, slowly remove your foot off the gas until you feel your wheels regain traction control. Do not attempt to brake! As your vehicle’s tires grab the road, slowly turn the steering wheel in the direction you want your front wheels to go.
  • Gimme a Brake: Anti-lock braking systems (ABS) offer significant advantages on slick roads, if used correctly. To operate ABS effectively, motorists should apply steady pressure to the brake pedal during the entire stop. ABS will automatically pump the brakes, if necessary, to keep the wheels from locking.  Never manually pump ABS brakes yourself. Apply only steady pressure continuously until you come to a complete stop. If you don’t have ABS, you should gently apply pumping pressure to your brakes during slippery conditions. Do not apply steady pressure to your brakes. Standing on your brakes will only cause wheel lock, and may result in your car spinning out of control.
  • Slow Motion: Everything you do on icy roads will affect how your vehicle handles the situation. Move slowly. Turn slowly. Brake slowly. Sudden changes can cause your car to spin our of control. Not all cars respond the same to icy, slippery roads. For that reason, knowing how to handle your vehicle and how it responds to various weather conditions is important. AAA recommends that motorists practice slow-speed maneuvers on an empty snow or ice covered parking lot. You should also page through your vehicle’s owner manual, familiarizing yourself with your vehicle’s braking system and tire traction.

PennySmartWinter

“Remember, when driving in the ice and snow – TAKE IT SLOW!”

Article Source: CUDL AutoSMART Magazine

*First Financial is not responsible for any contest listed on external publications.